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Incoming Notre Dame freshman defensive lineman and five-star recruit Eddie Vanderdoes will enroll at UCLA instead, he said in a statement Tuesday.
Vanderdoes' decision is the latest blow to the Irish and coach Brian Kelly as Vanderdoes was one of the nation's top recruits.
Vanderdoes was the top-ranked defensive lineman in the ESPN 150 for the Class of 2013 and the No. 10-ranked recruit overall.
"Over the past four months, circumstances have changed for me and my family, Vanderdoes said in the statement. "For very personal reasons, I feel a strong need to remain close to home and near those who are most important in my life."
Kelly confirmed Vanderdoes' decision to not play for Notre Dame but said he would not be released from his National Letter of Intent.
As such, Vanderdoes won't be allowed to play in 2013. He can take a scholarship and practice this season, but he must redshirt and will be eligible to play only three years of college football in a four-year period.
"I am honored and humbled that the University of Notre Dame thought enough of me as a person and a football player to offer me a scholarship," Vanderdoes said. "They have been very gracious to recognize not only how difficult a decision this was, but also how important it was for me to be near family at this time. I take my commitments seriously, but as circumstances changed, the most important commitment is the one made to family."
Several coaches across the country have reached out to Notre Dame and also Florida State coaching staffs to ask they not release high-profile incoming freshmen from their NLIs.
These coaches feared that a precedent could be set, forcing staffs to continue to recruit incoming freshmen after they already have signed. Florida State incoming freshman linebacker Matthew Thomas similarly has sought a release from his scholarship.